Research Project Summary Information
Demonstration of Pulse-Firing Technology on Heat-Treat Furnaces for Aerospace Industry(ST9904-1)
Firth Rixson Monroe
Firth Rixson Monroe is a leading producer of small- to medium-size rings (e.g., titanium, nickel-base alloys, alloy steels) for the aerospace, power generation, commercial and general engineering industries. The use of natural gas for forging and heat-treat furnaces is common practice in the forging industry. Currently the heat-treat and forge furnaces are operated with excess air to produce turbulence needed to maintain uniformity. This is inefficient in terms of natural gas usage because as the load approaches the desired temperature, the furnaces are still burning fuel to heat the excess air. Pulse-firing in heat-treat furnace applications is a way to reduce energy demand while maintaining the stringent requirements of temperature uniformity demanded by the aerospace product being produced. Pulse-firing uses high velocity burners and rapidly cycles the burners in a variable pattern to achieve the turndown required while holding uniformity as the set temperature is approached. By always firing near ideal combustion air/gas ratios, the furnace does not require the heating of the excess air, thereby reducing energy demand.
The project demonstrated the pulse-fired technology in Firth Rixson’s heat-treat department by retrofitting an existing furnace as well as incorporating it in a new furnace.
The objective was to reduce natural gas usage while maintaining the uniformity requirements of the aerospace industry.
The pulse-fired furnace uses 26% less natural gas per ton of material heated. Annual natural gas savings were 3,053 MMBTUs, or approximately $40,000. Uniformity requirements were maintained.
Firth Rixson Monroe
1 Mckee Rd
Rochester, NY 14611
On-site Process Improvement
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr